tv Primetime Nightline ABC August 24, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
we'll split it. (crunch) tonight on "primetime nightline" -- meet the bates clan. an american familil just like yours. only they've got 18 kids. >> how did you become parents to 18 children? >> with more on the way. >> i want twiwi boys. >> seven months in the life of one extraordinary family. >> is that the dirty pile? >> that's unfortunately the dirty pile. >> we shop at goodwill because it's a whole lot cheaper. >> they say it's their faith that keeps them together. >> like the army of god. >> but what happens when a family this big has their faith tested? >> i'm so sorry. >> "my extraordinary family" starts now. >> good evening, i'm sinty mack
fadden. tonight, i'm here with juju chang from "nightline" who spent seven months following one of the biggest families in america, 18 kids. eight boys ten girls and another on the way. the family let our cameras into their tennessee home to find out not just how but why this family got so big. you got three kids, i've got one and i know that our households both have plenty of chaos. >> they do. but so does the bates family. gil and kelly let us inside their extraordinary family, and what's deeply fascinating is their way of life is really a throwback to a time when families were big, needs were simple and television was black and white. kelly bates has been pregnant every year for the past 22 years. some might consider her a medical marvel. you're how old now? >> i am 44. fixing to turn 45. >> reporter: fixing to turn 45. and you are thinking maybe more? >> we decided a long time ago to
let the lord decide how many children we would have. >> well, if the lord were to give us more children, me and my wife would both be excited. it would be like saying more blessings. rrl but they take a physical toll on a woman's body. kelly has been through labor and delivery 18 separate times. one at a time. no c-sections, no twins. and 14 off those births were at home. and how often did you have an epidural? >> midwives usually don't administer that. so, for the 14 at home, i did not have any of that. >> reporter: not an aspirin? >> no. >> reporter: how did you become parents to 18 children? >> well, we never planned on having 18 children. >> i feel like, together in marriage, we began to grow in this direction. okay, hang on.
>> reporter: spanning 22 years from the oldest to the youngest. is the goal to have a lot of children? >> the goal, really, is not just about having a lot of children. the goal, for us, is to find god's will for our life and to live it. all right. rise and shine. wake up, little tiger. >> reporter: kelly has assigned each of the older kids to a younger partner. >> they get themselves ready first. they help make sure that their partner has their hair brushed, shoes on and their teeth brushed. >> well, i just make sure he gets his breakfast and make sure he gets his clothes match and get his clothes ready. >> reporter: trace used to be very shy and as he got older he got a new zeal of
competitiveness. they're responsible for getting their room clean and they have one assignment that they're an signed to and we rotate monthly. we don't do family breakfast together because everybody's doing their list at different times and so breakfast for us is quick. and there's the goal. landing on his head. >> reporter: then, it's home schohoing lesson. bible study. and housework. i have to say, your kids have a sort of 1950s time capsule sensibility. it's as if they've walked out of an "ozzie and harriet" movie. >> that's what we watch, usually, the black and white movies, the family ones. >> reporter: these kids have never heard of kim kardashian or justin bieber. >> our family is definitely different from most other families. i love it. >> reporter: no books that aren't approved by mom and dad. >> right. >> reporter: no television. >> yes.
>> reporter: no internet that's not monitored. >> right. not because we don't trust our children but because temptation -- >> reporter:r:emptation's too great. >> not worth the risk. >> reporter: and while the bates may say they've leaving it all up to god, there's no doubt thee want more. in fact, everyone in the family wants more. the children prayed for it. even asked if they could fast. they wanted to fafa? >> they did. if god wants us to have more, that we'd have more. >> boy, girl, girl, boy, girl, girl, boy. three girls, three boys, three girls and then judson. we need two more boys. >> reporter: but kelly is getting old for child bearing. she suffered two early m miscarriages. >> we talked to a doctor who says, it seems like your hormone level is low. the uterus wall is not softened for the baby to implant. so, it was causing us to lose
the baby. so, my wife began to take progesterone. and so we excitedly had callie and judson. >> th >> reporter: this is his birth. if you don't feel right taking birth control to stop a pregnancy, why is it okay to take medicine to help a pregnancy? >> well, for us, that would be like -- that baby is already alive. it is alife. >> reporter: to the bates,s, a two-day old embryo deserves the same medical intervention as any of their children. >> if one of my children were outside and got hurt and they were bleeding to death, naturally, i would take them to the emergency room and do whatever you can to save this baby's life. although we just want to trust god, but at the same time if there's already a life living, we don't want to deny medical help for a baby that's in
trouble. >> okay. >> doing okay? >> doing good, i hope. >> reporter: they have no health insurance. so, when there's a medical emergency or -- >> when there's a medical emergency, we go to the doctor. when you walk in the emergency roll, i don't care what your substitute does of living, they give you the best care possibility. >> reporter: their prenatal care is provided free of charge at a small christian clinic. and so shortly after we meet them in march, with two kids still in diapers, kelly finds herself pregnant again. >> everything looked good. we even saw a heartbeat. >> reporter: but ten weeks into that pregnancy, a terrible turn. >> it was hard. gi gil always goes with me on my apartments. on this day, he had a tree job to do. >> wondered why they hadn't called yet. normally they called and tell me everything's okay, so, i was
wondering. the phone rings, i said, kelly, are you okay? i could tell she was crying. and i said, is everything okay? she said, the baby died. and that was -- i said, i'm so sorry. i wish i could have been there ch i said, i'll be right over there she said, no, we already left the doctor, we're on our way home. the last miscarriage was the hardest. we saw the ultrasound. we saw the heartbeat. i know life begins at conception. even though i don't see it, i know it's a life. seeing the baby moving, it becomes so much real to know this is a little person in here. >> reporter: the bates have to wait at least six weeks before they can try again. >> we're on our way to go back to the doctor to check on kelly, make sure everything is okay after the loss of the baby. picking peanut butter pie this little restaurant is famous for to take to the doctor to thank
them for their kindnesss to us during this time. >> we don't know anything about the reason or, anything we can do -- >> anything that we could figure out? >> you got any ideas that you think we can do to help to make a different? >> women have all the eggs they're going to have when they're born. whatever age you are when you conceive, that's how old the egg is. so, the older it gets, the worse it's going to be. >> okay. >> i would just go ahead and -- >> continue on. >> continue what you're doing and turn the results over to god and it will be just the way it's supposed to do. >> good advice. still ahead. there's mouths to feed, clothes to watch. and the biggest family road trip you've ever seen. >> time to get in the car and drive. >> just how does this megafamily do it? a new school year has so much potential.
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"primetime nightline," my very extraordinary family, continues. >> we have something fun for today. >> reporter: how could you possibly find time to spend one-on-one time with 18 children? >> one of the reasons i home school is so that i'm with my children. the angle represents something that we're going to study in science today. something that's called a chain reaction. it's a way to instill values in your children.
so let's do this little experiment. ananto guide them through their education, not just in education but also in character. one match started a lot bigger fire, didn't it? chain reactions can be good things. but they can be dangerous, just like our anger can be dangerous if it leads to a chain reaction. >> reporter: kelly bates home schools all of hof children. today offers a break from school at home here in knox vim, tennessee. the family is packing for a week-long trip. >> everybody has five outfits per person. there's going to be 100 outfits for this trip. >> you're going to need a lot of energy. >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: they're getting ready for their summer vacation. a road trip to a home schooling conference in texas. they're excited to see their big family friends, the duggars. >> it's like a big vacation bible school. but on a bigger level, with people that are just -- you
don't get to seeut once a year. so, it's like a family reunion. >> reporter: it's a two-day, 800-mile odyssey that the family is embarking on from tennessee to texas. and in typical bates family fashion, they're running behind schedule. >> late. we generally try to be late to everything. >> reporter: they call it bates time. >> i guess i'm a little off. we'll probably leave in about 30 minutes. >> we're making it harder than it needs to be. >> we've been trying to pack but there's too many people to pack for. >> i think we can be a little bit more organized than we are. >> nathan was callele to preach when he was, i think, around 15 years old. >> more time your car is moving down the road and going places, that's what gets you there. time to get in the car and drive. >> there's such a spirit of harmony, such a joyfulness in the midst of big families.
♪ >> kids these days. >> reporter: there will be a lot of pit stops along the way, but for this conservative baptist family, first stop, evening church services. >> we are never going to get there. >> all right, guys. >> reporter: there are many people who might judge, who would say, it's irresponsible to have 18 children. >> i guess we h he to go back to some of the families that were just a few years ago, when there were 10, 11, 12 children in a family. they had a lot less means than we had now. and it seems like they turned out very well. >> see if you can be quiet. ready? >> reporter: for a party of 20, eating out is a exercise in
precision. >> hello. who are you doing? >> i hate to ask you, but can we get one more round of breadsticks? >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: the family often draws a lot of attention. >> i don't want to wear it, okay? >> reporter: pizza is a favorite treat. it's a minimum of eight to ten large pies to feed them all. right down to callie's last bite. >> she's just been the love of our life. she talks, too, just rattles away. >> reporter: and then, the bates are off again. >> we stopped at least five times so far. >> it's just really slow. >> reporter: of course, there are the frequent and expensive stops for gas for their two-vehicle caravan. >> probably about $1,200 in gas. but you nope what, god's got plenty of money. we just have to spend a little bit at a time. >> reporter: at 3:00 a.m., the
bates are still in tennessee. in ten hours they've traveled only 300 miles. exhausted, gil stops at a motel and ne gauche yapts for a good price. >> $43. >> thahas pretty good. that's really good. >> reporter: with infants and toddlers in tow, the entire family squeezes intohree rooms. >> going to get you a drink. >> this is the girls bedroom. it's going to be erin, alyssa, carlin and josie. >> reporter: finally, it's the first time today the boys are quiet, and it's lights out for the whole family. >> families with only one child or families with just a few children and they're lonely. where, as our children, they're happy when they're alone, they're happy in a crowd. they've learned to be content in life. >> reporter: by morning, signs of last night's exhaustion have disappeared. >> i was sleepy. >> reporter: with close to 500 more miles to drive, everyone peoples into the van. but there's a local news flash
that a tornado touched down just miles from the hotel. >> again, we're tracking a tornado warning right now around 15, 20 minutes ago. >> well, it looks like we're going to get a tornado. buckling down right here. >> reporter: the family takes shelter in the lobby of their hotel. >> there's going to be a tornado. >> reporter: they are in the direct path of the tornado. they pray. >> we ask you to protect us, lord, protect the other people that are facing the storms right now. we look to god for instruction. we pray about things we face as a family. [ siren wails ] >> reporter: like any parent, gil tries calmly to lay out the emergency plan. >> if there's a real storm and ends up being a realtor nay doe, everybody, i want you to run
right now and run around the corner, down the hall about halfway. stop right there, sit against the wall, put your head down like this, okay? don't go look out the window if u want to see it, okay? just run over there and sit down, okay? and we'll all be right there together, okay? until then we're going to sing. ♪ >> reporter: when the sirens continue to sound, the bates manage their nerves through song. ♪ >> no more storm. >> you don't know that. >> just rain. >> reporter: with the tornado gone, the family cements out on their second long day of driving. >> we are still in tennessee. >> reporter: the storm clouds eventually give way to sun and as the caravan crosses the
mississippi river into arkansas, it appears they're finally making progress. until mother nature strikes again. >> we are on highway 30 and it comes over the radio, if you are on highway 30, get off of the highway. >> reporter: it's a parent's nightmare scenario. how can a mother keep 18 children safe? of the jeep grand cherokee er v6 engine has a best-in-class driving range of over 500 miles per tank. so you can catch morning tee time in monterey and the afternoon meeting in los angeles, all without running out of gas. just make sure you don't run out of gas. ♪ this is her four-year-old computer she doesn't think she vo: needs to update. so to show her what she's missing, we built a pc store in her house.
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very extraordinary family, continues. >> my hands started shaking and i got a headache. i was so scared. >> reporter: on their road trip to texas, the bates are waiting out a dangerous tornado. for awhile, half the family huddles in a hotel bathroom. even the grown children are in tears. >> we're back on the air now. >> reporter: they learn from tv reports that the danger has passed. >> now, everybody feel better, little bit relieved? >> yeah. >> a lot of people maybe lost their homes their cars, maybe even a family member, so, i pray lord that you protect and help them. >> reporter: they pile back into the van. after a few more pit stops along the road -- >> okay? we got 20 soft tacos. >> what did you order?
>> reporter: at 1:30 in the morning -- >> oh, man. >> reporter: two harrowing days after their left knoxville -- >> just pick out a bed? >> reporter: the bates arrive at the conference center in big sandy, texas. >> long day. >> reporter: the next day begins with seeing old friends again. >> hurry! >> jill? >> reporter: the duggars. the most famouss megafamily in america. >> long time no see. >> reporter: the duggars have bebeme celebrities, thanks to their popular reality show, "19 kids and counting." people were saying that the families are very common, but to you -- >> 37 children between the two women here. that's a lot. >> reporter: 37 children between the two of you. >> and counting. >> and counting. >> reporter: it's as if they're friendly competitors to be the
biggest family in america. the bates are often guest stars on their show. >> kissing all the time? let me show you. >> we try that, too. >> reporter: that's how you got in this mess in the first place. >> it's incredible. >> that's so lovely. >> one kiss, and look at all the kids. >> reporter: there is so much action going on here. it's crazy. hundreds of families like them gather here once a aear to reinforce their faith and their values. >> pleasure to meet you. >> i think we're all in for a big treat this week, don't y'all? >> it's kind of like, our once a year annual meeting they do just like a shot in the arm to encourage you, as a family, to put family in your home. >> that means you are going to clean up the house before momma says to, right? right? >> reporter: the girls sing songs about happy house work.
♪ while t t boys -- ♪ focus on physical discipline. >> hey, that's a good push. >> reportete don't cross the flag. that flag's bigger than you. >> good job. >> i got you. i got you. keep your knees straight. excellent. good job. >> it teaches me how to obey and do right. >> jackson is our little stinker. he sometimes speaks like a 30-year-old in a 9-year-old's body. >> it's not like the army army. u.s. army. it's like the army of god. >> reporter: do the girls ever want to rappel and do the things the boys are doing? >> they do.
they do. >> reporter: i mean, the girls are indoors singing songs and the boys are outside having all the fun. >> yeah, the girls every year say, why don't we get to rappel? and, so, yeah, that needs to be a suggestion that we make. >> reporter: like the bates, the duggars drove to the conference, too, but they have a slightly more luxurious set of wheels. this is like a rock star's, you know, bus. except, with sleeping toddlers. >> let her sleep. >> reporter: that is not one of her many daughters, it's her first granddaughter. son josh is the only married kid in either big family. josh and his pregnant wife met at the conference a few years ago. >> he waited to actually ask my dad. >> reporter: when a relationship blossoms, it's called courting. >> there's many different definitions of courtship, but for us, it mean really, choosing purity, choosing to wait for a lot of things that people would take for granted. our first kiss was our our weddininday. >> reporter: wow. >> that's what it meant for us.
>> reporter: okay. >> i do. >> reporter: their romance was chronicled on the duggars reality show, where the bates were guests at the wedding. ♪ it will be another year before their next family vacation together in big sandy, where their own kids might just end up meeting that special person. >> for us, the whole idea is exciting. the idea of seeing your children finally grow up and put into practice what you've been trying to teach them and p ppare them for their whole life and then the thought of grandbabies and then their future and their happiness, i mean, it's an excitement. >> yee-ha. >> reporter: all their kids live at home, including four in college. but it may not be long before one of the bates leaves the nest. >> they're so much alike. it's so neat how they have so many common interests. >> reporter: after being smi
smitten, a nervous zach is about to ask a bluegrass musician to court. >> ready? >> ready as i ever will be. >> zach is our oldest child, he's 22. he just got elected as county commissioner, the youngest in tennessee. >> reporter: his courtship is a family affair. >> he's scared to death. >> thank you. >> reporter: he may be mumbling, but what he's saying is, "my heart is drawnwn to yours." mind you, when they're courting, there's no hand holding, no
touching and definitely no kissing. >> doesn't she look pretty? >> reporter: for the other older bates kids, there are no plans to leave home any time on. >> she's a a server and a mercy. she's the one that is always so concerned about people's feelings. >> reporter: though she's taking college classes and volunteers as a paramedic, she won't be married off until a suitor comes calling. at 16, her parents turned one away, because she was too young. so, at 21, she's content to wait. other than laundry, i see you with a baby on your hip all the time. what explains that? >> i just -- i love kids. they're my favorite thing. >> reporter: and so -- at what point do you move on, move out, get your own family? >> i don't know. i mean, i guess i could now if i wanted. i just -- i love being here so much.
>> we don't see the need to rush out to get your own home, spend more money than you normally would. be alone. ♪ when you can have this team spirit together helping each other. >> very good. still ahead. just how do they afford it? the se credits to consignment shopping. making clothes at home. and buying lunch for all those kids. >> this right here used to be $3 even for a pound. hello parents, it's going to be a big school year. your kids are going to climb rope. they're going to have a year long tug war with the ceiling. and by the time they get out of 8th grade, they're going to do it with sweat on their brow and achievement in their hearts. so, this is what they're gonna need: running shoes, t-shirts, tube socks, fruit cups, cheese sticks, energy bars, rope climbing gloves, rope burn ointment, and a jump drive.
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"primetime nightline," my very extraordinary family, continues. ♪ >> reporter: running a household of 20 may lack like chaotic fun, but it's not cheap. >> hey, get a regular saw, cut these lower limbs off. >> reporter: gil's tree-cutting service provides just enough to get by. how do you afford it? >> we try our best to live as cheap as we can. i'm a real penny pincher. probably worse. we try not to buy stuff that's full price. we wait until it goes on sale. and if it's not a necessity, we really try not to buy it unless we really need it.
>> reporter: the older boys help their father with his business. lawson even started his own when was just 13. lawson's lawn care. >> lawson is our comedian. he is the one that loves to role play. the western movies, he's got all the cowboy stuff. >> reporter: he taught me how to mow. it's a lot of fun. and it's good money, too. >> i bought a new truck. i buy everything cash. i don't like to borrow money. >> reporter: lawson is earning enough to help the rest of his family. so, for parents that don't believe in bank debt, no mortgage, no car loans, no credit cards, lawson is the only person they oh. >> oh, they're good for it. they pay me back and i don't need the money right now anyway, so -- >> we call him the bank financer because he always is lending to siblings or lending to us or -- he's the one that always has money in the account when the st of us don't. >> zach needed $1,000 to help buy a car so i loaned him that.
erin needed a couple thousands to go to college, so, she's paying me back. they're real good about paying me back, which is fine with me. i don't mind. >> okay. bread. >> reporter: check. the family banker is also the self-appointed grocery shopper. so, you are always thinking about budget as you go through here? >> always. >> reporter: for a family that goes through seven gallons of milk and nine loaves of bread per week, shopping is a daunting task. and that teejic. >> this used to be $3 for a pound. now it's $3.34. same thing. so -- >> reporter: lawson punts most teenage boys to shame. by not only knowing the price of cold cuts but that it's gone up. i could quiz every 18-year-old i know and not a single one of them would know the price of a pound of turkey. guarantee you. >> i just like getting good deals and, well -- getting as
fast as i can. cucumbers, broccoli, got that. >> reporter: extra barbecue sauce and a whole lot of extra groceries for his sister's birth day party. by the way, any party means an extra four cartons of ice cream. i could wear cute things. i needed lawson's fashion advice, because i invited the kids to a swim party. would that be appropriate if i wore a swim suit under that? >> something not see through. >> reporter: i can't wear that. >> that's about the right size. >eporter: how about this? not too short? too short? >> maybe. >> reporter: it will go almost to myy knees. you think that's okay? >> i ought to be. >> reporter: you sure? >> well -- it would be nice if it was a little longer, but it ought to do. >> reporter: okay, these are my
pants. they go down to there. >> that's fine. >> reporter: that's fine, right? because his father hasn't gotten paid yet this week, lawson pays with his own money. and that's your card? >> yes, ma'am. >> reporter: total cost? $375.53. >> i'll get it back. >> reporter: back at home, one of the house shes puts those groceries to work. >> alyssa loves cooking. she says, mom, can i make supper for you? >> reporter: what age did you start cooking for everybody? >> i was probably about, i'd say 12 when i started cooking. >> reporter: making meals for the whole family. for 20 people? >> yes, ma'am. >> reporter: my goodness. is it hard for you to think of it as work? >> you know what, i always learned to cook in big quantity, so it's always been like, you cook a whole bunch and it was just normal. >> lunch is ready. i need everybody to come down to the kitchen and dining room for
lunch. >> i get lunch ready usually by 12:00, is our goal. >> reporter: that's right. turkey. good is one expense. add to that all the clothes they need. >> go to the mall with ten girls can be pretty pricey. where we can go to goodwill and get twice the amount of stuff for all of us and, i mean, it might not last as long, but -- it's definitely a lot cheaper. >> our clothes are usually hand me downs that other families have shared with us or passed down or thrift stores. >> reporter: what about shoes? >> shoes are definitely thrift store items. >> we shop at odwill because it's a whole lot cheaper and it helps out. >> reporter: at the local thrift store we managed to buy a gift for nearly 20 people and it was less than 40 bucks. >> you found another pair of shoes? i'm buying those. those are only $1. >> reporter: this is nice and colorful. it's a medium, though. isn't that cute?
>> that we can get for zach. a medium will fit. >> reporter: that's for zach. $5. it takes approximately $200,000 to raise one american kid to adulthood. the bates are doing it times 18 at a fraction of the cost. >> i don't take anything from the government. probably qualify for a lot of things. i said, but i will not do that because god's taking care of us. i don't want be a gurden. >> reporter: they take full advantage of the u.s. tax code. you have 18 tax deductions. >> that's a wonderful thing. america's a great place to live. >> reporter: their clothing is kept in one shared closet. >> yes, you can see, it starts can callie, ellie, addie. it gets gger. >> reporter: that's the dirty pile? >> that's, unfortunately, the dirty pile. >> reporter: michaella volunteers to do the loads every
day. how do you know whose are whose? >> those are jackson's. and that's the denim bucket. these are the little boys. some of the girls aren't up here yet. and they have the little bloomers attached. >> reporter: michaella sued the modest swim wear for the little ones. >> reporter: you made this with swim suit material. was there a pattern? >> no, i'm just learning how to read a pattern. >> after supper, everybody has what we call play time with dad. >> so, play time with dad has become a, kind of a family tradition. and we try to do it every night. judson's bouncing around. >> reporter: and tonight, an extra special treat. that swim at my hotel. it's not hard to swim in dresses because it's all we've ever been used to. for us, personally, long time
ago, god convinced us in our hearts of women to wear dresses. we just felt like that would please the lord for ladies to dress like dies, especially in a day and time when sometimes the gender roles get so hard to define. >> reporter: the big boys are in blue jeans. and it seems my outfit is a big hit. >> your swim outfit was so cute. >> reporter: the best part of an evening swim is that it exhausts the kids. >> big a bear hug as i ever got. >> he puts the kids to sleep every night. >> be grateful with a full heart of gratitude for the life you let us live. >> still ahead -- >> i am just six weeks. >> all the boys want a boy. >> twin boys. ♪
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♪ >> reporter: you can't have a birthday party at the bates place without the kids picking up instruments. ♪ happy birthday to you >> reporter: today's erin's 20th. ♪ happy birthday to you >> erin, she loves the piano. she has played from the time she was a little girl. she bebeme a church pianist at
12 years old. that's what she wants to do with her life is just to give back to other people and invest and teach them how to play. >> reporter: and these days, there's even more to celebrate. kelly has big news. she's pregnant again. >> i am just six weeks. barely along. just barely, barely along. >> i want twin boys. >> all the boys want a boy. >> twin boys. >> there's ten girls and only eight boys. >> there's no twins, plus we need two more boys to make it even. >> reporter: with the most recent miscarriage just a few months behind her, kelly's anxious. >> it's a little nervous. i actually found out that we lost the other baby at ten weeks and they said that it its heartbeat, it stopped growing at eight weeks along. >> reporter: so, this time, she decides not to have an ultrasound. >> you want to do an ultrasound? >> i think i'm too nervous. i'm not prepared today. >> reporter: instead, kelly's doctor does a blood test to measure the pregnancy hormone
hcg, aay to confirm the baby's growing. >> what are we looking for? >> the hcg to go up. >> reporter: everyone, including the doctor, is praying that the level goes up. >> we've had some hurt in the past that sort of turns up the fear right now and father you will cast out all fear. >> reporter: if it doesn't, the pregnancy is in jeopardy. >> trust in you for all things. >> you want to call us at 3:00. >> you'll know at 3:00. okay. >> every pregnancy i've had, just real extreme morning sixness. with the last baby i miscarried, there was none. and i'm not having any now. i don't know if that means anything or not. >> it's out of our control. we're going to do the bloodwork. we're going to find out. you can rest. >> reporter: as 3:00 p.m. approaches, kelly can't handle the suspense any longer.
>> i'm so nervous. >> reporter: she calls the doctor herself. >> hello, this is kelly bates. they told me to call back at 3:00. i was just hoping maybe they had the results in early. >> reporter: suddenly kelly is sounds more like a first time mom. oh, okay, my heart is pounding. it's good news? oh, it is? okay. okay. what is it? 27,000, is that like, what it should be? oh, okay. i'm so relieved. everything's just what it needs to be. >> see baby? >> reporter: a month later, kelly is now emotionally prepared to have that ultrasound. >> there it is. there's the baby. >> it's moving its hands. >> reporter: the new baby is clearly visible.
>> so tiny. >> waving to mom and dad. >> reporter: and healaly. >> everything looks fine. good movement, the arms, the legs. there's nothing i see that looks abnormal. looks like a very, very healthy little baby. >> reporter: the heartbeat is strong. >> it's exciting to see it moving around. >> two boys, two boys, two boys. >> it's twins. twin boys. >> twins would have been a nice surprise but we are just so thankful, so grateful it's going good. right now, i feel like i could run a marathon, because i just had this exciting news. i've got this adrenaline flowing. >> reporter: the newest member of the bates family is scheduled to arrive on valentine's day. >> hey, guys. >> reporter: and now i've experienced what this child has to look forward to. the simple pleasures that modern life often casts aside.
that's a sal la mmanner. so, i like this bike ride. >> yeah. it would be bad if you wrecked it, though. >> reporter: trust me, it would be bad. think about it. who wouldn't want to be a baepts kid? there's always someone to play with, explore with, grow with. using their old fashioned values, gil and kelly bates might just have the secret to a happy family. turns out good parenting is good parenting, whether you have e o kids or 18. it's all about quality, not quantity. a new school year has so much potential.
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and so little whining. >> really made me want to throw out the electronic devices. and the key to happiness, they say, is a tight-knit family and a meaningful life. >> wow. thank you so much for bringing us the bates family. that's our program for tonight there's already an exciting conversation taking p pce online about the bates family. let us know what you think. should the batesave another child? tweet us @nightline. and, next week, we take you into the lives of families coping with little boys who say they're girls and girls who say they're really boys on the inside. controversial, cutting-edge drugs being given to kids to help them change their gender. is it too much too soon? >> i'm cynthia mcfadden. from all of us at abc news, thank you for watching "primetime nightline." stay with abc to watch our regular "nightline" broadcast, right after your late local news.